Norica Dragon Carbine
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- Last updated: 27/01/2017
Some names have stood the test of time in the airgun industry, and Norica certainly comes into that bracket. They’ve moved with the times too, and this spring-powered Dragon Carbine is a prime example of their latest output.
It’s a traditional break-barrel model, yet it comes fitted with a silencer as standard, a synthetic compound stock, and no open sights. The point about sights is relevant since UK importers, Highland Outdoors, supply this model as a package deal; and the Dragon comes complete with a Nikko Stirling Mountmaster 3-9x40 telescopic sight and mounts, all-in for the money.
Visually speaking, I reckon this Dragon Carbine strikes a rather sleek profile, and the slim-line stock configuration and streamlined, unfussy lines combine well. Any close inspection soon reveals that it’s a fairly basic sporter, with few pretentions. So let’s give it the once over, and evaluate what’s on offer.
All in for a budget-beating RRP of £219.99, it’s impressive, and it would be unfair to expect too much for that sort of cash. Firstly, for the record, it should be noted that the Dragon in our test is shown with a different scope than that which is usually supplied, as we received the rifle before the specific Mountmaster model listed above was included with the package. Suffice to say that I’ve tested the 3-9x40 Mountmaster previously and found it to be highly satisfactory - so no reservations on that score.
The Dragon’s full-length synthetic furniture is perhaps the most eye-catching feature, and whilst it is fairly attractive overall, I did have mixed feelings. A super slimmed down pistol grip area, complete with moulded chequering panels, is all part of the ambidextrous design, in use. When you’re ready, a little nudge up with the finger and the safety tab clicks to the OFF position. For the record, once this Norica is loaded, it needs to be fired off, since the action features an inner blocking device to prevent de-cocking.
On firing, the action is twangy, yet to be fair, felt recoil is still quite manageable. Noise levels from that spring resonance are significant, and the presence of the silencer can have no effect on that. Unlike PCP’s, where a silencer mutes down and filters fast expanding compressed air at the muzzle, spring guns are a different animal. Action noise plays more part in the equation, and this needs to be dealt with separately.
As far as results are concerned, over the chronograph, 10-shots strings of around 11fps variation showed a highly consistent action, tested with Air Arms Diabolo Field pellets. When I carefully pulled through the sears on that unsophisticated trigger, the Norica produced 1” groups with various pellet brands! In truth a very respectable result, especially given the low asking price.
Overall then, overlooking some minor irritations, Norica’s Dragon Carbine stacks up, either as a beginner’s starter pack or for close range vermin control. GM